Volunteers gather in Sevier County; How to help fire evacuees

A volunteer center has opened in Sevierville to help coordinate people looking to help the wildfire recovery. (12/5/16 5PM)

Offers of help and ways to help Sevier County fire victims and responders are pouring into 10News. Please check this site often.

(UPDATE: The Red Cross is asking people to bring any items they have to donate to the countywide supply distribution center at the Boyd's Bear building, 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge. The city of Pigeon Forge said the distribution center is in need of laundry detergent, fingernail files and clippers and scissors.)

Here is a list:

* Volunteer East Tennessee is leading the efforts to coordinate volunteers and volunteer opportunities following the Sevier County fires. The organization opened the Volunteer Reception Center as a way for prospective volunteers to sign-up for ways to help. You can sign up for a volunteer shift online at the organizations website at www.volunteerETN.org. The center is located at 1304 Parkway, Sevierville, TN 37862.

*The Sevier County Rescue Squad is looking for volunteers and items to help store and keep donations dry. The group said they have seen an enormous amount of support and donations, but are in desperate need people to help distribute them and places to store them. The group is located near Sevier County High at 1179 Dolly Parton Parkway. They said they also need things like tents, tarps, plastic wrap, shelves, boxes and other goods that can store and keep donations dry.  

*Tennessee's Helping Hearts is taking donations for first responders that lost everything in the fires. They are taking donations of towels, dog food, dishes, baby supplies, clothes, and monetary donations. Donations can be brought to 209 Gray Slate Circle in Sevierville, and monetary donations can be made at www.tnhelpinghearts.us, just go to "how can I help", it is also a tax deduction.

* The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have set up a call center to provide information for those who would like to donate goods and volunteer to help survivors. For a list of the most-needed items, please visit http://mypf.social/pfdonationneeds. The call center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the phone number is 866-586-4483.

* Students with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Seymour High School are hosting a benefit concert at Seymour auditorium on Saturday, December 10th, at 7:30 pm. Some acts inclued Jim Smith, Roger Williams and The All Mixed Up Quartet, and 2BYTHESAME. Tickets will be 10 dollars. 

* Publix Super Markets has established a program in Tennessee stores offering the option for consumers to donate any amount by adding it to their grocery totals when checking out at Publix registers in the state of Tennessee.

* The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at UT has compiled a website with resources that may help victims find information and resources, such as information on helping children and adults deal with disasters,smoke revival and fire cleanup, food safety, how to replace important documents, etc.

The website can be accessed here https://ag.tennessee.edu/fcs/

* Tennessee Lawyers of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Service (TALS), Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET), and the Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission are partnering up to offer those affected help with their legal needs.

Any wildfire victims in need of legal assistance can call the TALS helpline at 844-HELP4TN, or go onto www.help4tn.org for resources and access to TN Free Legal Answers.

* The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is collecting gift cards of any monetary value. These can be mailed to UT Extension, 752 Old Knoxville Highway, Sevierville, TN 37862. An alternative way is throught the Tennessee 4-H Foundation website https://www.tn4hfoundation.org/forms/donation1.cfm.

* Pigeon Forge is opening a supply distribution center. It opens on Thursday, Dec. 1. It is located just off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge in the former Boyds Bear facility at 149 Cates Lane. The facility will be open and staffed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Any Sevier County residents affected are encouraged to come by. 

Available supplies: Bottled water, food, beverages, adult and children sized apparel, footwear, blankets, over-the-counter medication, personal hygiene products, diapers, flashlights, baby formula and more. 

The distribution center will be open until demand or inventory is gone. They request that no new donation efforts begin until the current supply is reduced and more storage becomes available. 

Monetary donations can be sent to Citizens National Bank to the Gatlinburg & Sevier County Relief Fund, 200 Forks of the River Parkway Sevierville, Tennessee 37862. 

*Claboughs Campground (405 Wears Valley Road) has camp sites available for those in need and is a drop-off site for donations. 

* The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development enacted an emergency action plan in Sevier County on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The department's Mobile American Job Centers are currently located in Pigeon Forge and are giving internet and computers services for those who have lost their jobs to file unemployment claims. The mobile job center will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

They are located at 149 Cates Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN.

* The Tennessee State Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) will also be at 149 Cates Lane. TDCI has set up a Community Resource Center that will open Thursday, Dec. 1. 

TDCI will have: Numerous Insurance carriers, representatives from Department of Labor, TDCI Consumer Insurance  team members to answer questions, and officials to provide forms to apply for building permits and provide guidance for both residential and commercial buildings.

It will be staffed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for those affected who want to file a claim. 

*Knoxville Scottish Rite, 612 16th Street is accepting items Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Items being accepted are bottled water, non-perishable snack items, toiletries, and children's toys. For more information call 865-524-3459. 

* Remote Area Medical is seeking donations of Gatorade, and/or water to collect and distribute to shelter centers in the devastated areas. The items can be delivered to RAM headquarters at 2200 Stock Creek Boulevard in Rockford, Tennessee or we can pick up the items. If anyone wants to donate they can reach someone at Remote Area Medical at 865-579-1530. Deliveries of donated goods will be taken to the LeConte Medical Center as well as the area’s Volunteer Fire Department later today.

* The Gatlinburg Relief Fund has been established at SmartBank. Donations can be dropped off at any location or mailed to:

Gatlinburg Relief Fund
SmartBank
P.O. Box 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868

Call 865-453-2650 for more information.

* First Tennessee Bank is partnering with national nonprofit Operation Hope to provide assistance to residents affected by the wildfire.

Financial wellbeing coaches from HOPE Coalition America, which provides emergency preparedness and financial recovery assistance nationwide, will be in the First Tennessee Bank's location at 300 East Main Street in Sevierville. 

These coaches will assist in financial counseling, small business recovery, insurance claims to recover lost documents and other home and repair contracts.

First Tennessee will start this Monday December 5 and will continue to offer these services weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

For consumer and commercial clients in Sevier County wildfire area, First Tennessee Bank's loan customers can apply for the First Tennessee Assistance Program. Call (800) 382-5465 for more information. 

There is an Employee Relief Fund for employees of First Tennessee who were affected by the wildfire. More information is on the First Tennessee Bank's website.

 

 

The American Red Cross is accepting donations for evacuees and first responders to the Sevier County fire.

The organization is accepting donations at the Pigeon Forge Fire Hall Station 1 at 3229 Rena Street in Pigeon Forge and New Hope Church of God in Kodak:

2450 Winfield Dunn Pkwy
Kodak, Tennessee
865-932-4673
Open from 8 to 8

The Red Cross is not looking for untrained volunteers, but is accepting monetary donations. People can make a $10 donation by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999.

Red Cross workers have served more than 10,000 meals and snacks to wildfire evacuees at shelters in the Galinburg and Pigeon Forge area as of 10 a.m. Tuesday. The Red Cross has served nearly 1,000 meals to firefighters battling the fires.

Disaster victims and their families can register on the American Red Cross website to find each otherFacebook has also activated its safety check feature for the fires.

The First Tennessee Foundation will match donations from the public to the East Tennessee Red Cross, up to a total of $50,000, made through any First Tennessee financial center across the state. The First Tennessee Foundation is a Tennessee nonprofit corporation established in 1993. More information is available at www.FirstTennessee.com and www.FirstTennesseeFoundation.com. The bank has already raised $20,000. People may make checks payable to the American Red Cross and mail to:

             Corporate Communications, First Tennessee

             P.O. Box 84

             Memphis, TN 38101.

Related: Resources available for Sevier County evacuees and first responders

There are a number of evacuation centers open for evacuees and pets.

Pigeon Forge officials at 3:25 p.m. on Tuesday issued the following statement: 

"The outpouring of support and kindness shown to those displaced by the wildfires in Pigeon Forge, as well as to our first responders, has been extraordinary. At this time, we have received numerous truckloads of much-appreciated food, water, toiletries and other items. Now that the majority of those displaced have returned home or found temporary housing, the need for these items is no longer as great. To avoid collecting unused items, we ask that everyone please suspend their donations. Please know that any surplus items will be distributed to local organizations to benefit those in need. Again, we are forever grateful to all of you for your kind generosity." 

"We have also transported several loads of food/drinks to our friends in Gatlinburg... and they too have been blessed with an abundance of donations."

Monetary contributions locally can be made to assist displaced families and those who have lost their homes at any Citizens National Bank branch to: "City of Pigeon Forge Fire Relief Fund" 

All monies collected via this fund will be donated to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevier County families in need. 

*Workers at the Knoxville Expo Center will accept donations for the impacted areas too. The Knoxville Expo Center will accept tooth brushes, tooth paste, water, baby wipes, dog food, kennels and more. The center is located at 5441 Clinton Highway in Knoxville. People can call (865)686-3200 or (865)919-8114 for more information.

*First Red Bank Baptist Church is collecting donations. Hygiene items in particular are needed for families that are staying at the church. 

*Northview Academy is also accepting donations for those displaced by the fires. 

*Area Boy Scouts are collecting donations such as grooming items, pet supplies, blankets, gloves and non-perishable food items through Friday, Dec. 2. The items can be dropped off 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1333 Old Wisegarber Road in Knoxville.

*Ryder Vehicle Sales is also accepting donations at its location at 7509 Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville.

*Toys for Tots will have a sign up for victims and their families. The Toys for Tots phone number is (865)254-3911. Donation drop off is 2719 Northview Academy Lane in Kodak.

* Clubhouse Ministries has set up 2 drop off locations in Seymour for those wishing to help wildfire relief efforts. They are collecting items and donations at Food City and Kroger in Seymour. 

* The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum are accepting donations for evacuees and first responders. Officials are looking for cases of water and Gatorade; pre-packaged, non-perishable food items, toiletry items, blankets, diapers and formula. The donation can be dropped off at the Coliseum box office during extended hours this week. Those hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

* Purpose Church in Pigeon Forge has a truck from operation compassion drop off at their church location,1038 Charlottes Court with cases of water and food. Another truck will arrive Wednesday. Families can register sizes for clothes. The church will be open for registration Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 865-428-0026 or visit www.purposechurchpf.com

* United Way of Greater Knoxville Friends and Supporters: Need help? Dial 2-1-1.  2-1-1 is a free and confidential multilingual information and referral service that connects people in need with a full range of services. 

* Volunteer East Tennessee is connecting volunteers to volunteer needs in response to the Sevier County fires. Visit https://www.volunteeretn.org/DisasterRecovery to see how you can best support our region’s recovery efforts.

* New Hope Church of God, 2450 Winfield Dunn Parkway, is collecting donations. Call 865-932-4673 for information.

* Stages West (boots and apparel store) at 2765 Parkway in Pigeon Forge is currently serving as a drop off location for Sevier County fire relief donations. They are specifically seeking the following: baby diapers of all sizes, adult Depends, hand sanitizer, and non-perishable snacks. 

* The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 400 Kendall Rd, Knoxville (behind West Town Mall) is accepting donations beginning 10 a.m. Wednesday. The following items are needed for a kit: toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, mouthwash, comb, brush, soap, shampoo, body wash, disposable razors and wet wipes.  Gift cards (in any dollar amount) for those that need to purchase clothing will also be collected.

*Lincoln Memorial University will host "LMU Responds" at 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday with students, faculty and staff managing a collection site in the upper parking lot of Tex Turner Arena on the Schenck Center side.

*Across Town Couriers are accepting donations for supplies to deliver to evacuees and first responders. The business is collecting donations at 900 East Hill Avenue in Knoxville or can pick up donations. Anyone wanting to donate can call (865)771-1604.

Items in demand include ensure, pediasure, pedialyte, sharpies, school supplies for kids, newborn items, bottles, sippy cups, nonperishable food, laundry detergent, bleach, cleaning supplies, towels, washcloths, hygiene products, lotion, soap, body was, kids toys, Christmas décor, depends for elderly diapers, blankets, pillows, to go boxes, plastic silverware, tables and tents. pet supplies, coats, gloves and scarves. The Harrogate and Claiborne County communities are encouraged to participate. LMU will coordinate delivery of items to the Sevier County Rescue Squad (1171 Dolly Parton Pkwy, Sevierville, TN 37862).

Also, Railsplitter fans are encouraged to bring donations to women’s and men’s basketball games on Wednesday. For more information contact Kate Reagan at 423.869.6389 or by email at Kate.Reagan@lmunet.edu

* Citizens National Bank: An account has been opened at CNB to accept donations.

* City of Pigeon Forge Fire Relief Fund - Donations can be made at any CNB branch or mailed to: Citizens National Bank 200 Forks of the River Pkwy, Sevierville, TN 37862

* Sevier County Rescue Squad, 1171 Dolly Parton Pkwy, Sevierville, across from Sevier County High School is collecting water and Gatorade for firefighters.

* Barker Lounge in Sevierville, 1301 W Main Street, Sevierville, is taking in pets of evacuees. People are able to donate animal crates to the shelter.

* Sevier County libraries are accepting toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, body wash and loofa sponges, deodorant, tissue, mints, gum, snacks, water, Gatorade, coloring books, crayons, playing cards and pet food. Sevierlibrary.org

* Wilderness at the Smokies, 1424 Old Knoxville Highway, will take in gently used and new clothes, blankets, towels, diapers and wipes, baby formula, personal toiletries, bottled water, and nonperishable snack items to Cades Cove meeting room, located at Stone Hill Lodge, Tuesday through Dec. 2, from 8am-11pm.

* Sevier County Economic Development Council is coordinating donation efforts as well. If you can offer supplies or services to help, please contact them at 865-428-2212.

* Camelot Foster Care at 311 Directors Drive in Knoxville is accepting donations Wednesday through Friday 9-4.

Photos: Wildfire spreads to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

* Kroger is partnering with the American Red Cross to offer aid to those affected by the fires. The stores will be accepting customer donations at off of its Middle and East Tennessee Kroger stores, Northern Alabama stores, and Southern Kentucky Kroger locations. Money will be given directly to the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross and the company will make a $10,000 corporate donation. 

* South College is collecting items and goods to help the victims of the fires. Donation boxes are located at both the Main Campus at 3904 Lonas Drive and the Parkside Learning Site on 400 Goodys Lane. Items will be delivered to shelters in the Pigeon Forge area and to the firefighters and rescue personnel. Donations will be accepted until Thursday, December 1 at 4 p.m. Deliveries will be made on Friday.

Items being collected include bottled water and Gatorade; non-perishable, pre-packaged food; baby food, wipes and diapers; toiletries; pillows and blankets; dog/cat food; and trash bags. 

* The Sevierville American Family Care clinic, as well as other AFC clinics in Alcoa and Knoxville are currently collecting baby food, diapers, toiletries, socks, and coloring books and crayons for any of the evacuees who have been affected. 

*The Rocky Point Baptist Youth Group and the East Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Department will  be collecting toys to donate to children affected by the fires. All toys will be taken to the Sevier County Toys for Tots for distribution. Toys may be dropped off at the East Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Station located off Luther Proffitt Road behind Russellville Elementary. All toys will be accepted, but they are asking specifically for toys for children between the age of 8 and 13. Pick ups can be arranged by calling 423-353-3964.

RESTAURANTS STEPPING IN

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant & Grill at 240 Apple Valley Road in Sevierville, (865) 428-1222, is providing free hot meals to any rescue workers who are battling the fires here in Sevier County. All members of fire departments, police departments and other official rescue squads, should  make themselves known to the managers to get a meal.

In addition, Applewood Farmhouse will be accepting cash donations for our local American Red Cross and will have collection buckets on site in our stores for those wanting to contribute.

All Firehouse Subs locations in and around the Knoxville area including Pigeon Forge, Maryville, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Sevierville, are currently accepting donations of cases of bottled water, energy drinks, Gatorade and anything of the like.  

Also the restaurants are currently working with local officials in these affected areas to provide food for these firefighters that will be delivered where it's needed.  If there is a specific need in a certain area for food or drink, have a representative call  John Sloane at 865-250-2842 or Robbie Carroll at 865-388-6480.  Officials will help where they can.

Huck Finn's Catfish at 3330 Parkway in Pigeon Forge is accepting any and all donations.

Yassin's falafel house is accepting donations downtown until 6 p.m. or until their UHaul is full! A truck is parked right in front.

Hard Knox Pizzeria in Knoxville is accepting donations of water and other beverages, canned and packaged food to take to the Red Cross. Donations can also be dropped off at other restaurants in Western Plaza, including Blackhorse Pub, Moe's, Runners Market, or Yassin's Falafel House downtown.

HELP FOR ANIMALS, TOO

*Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies has sent its rescue team out looking for stranded animals in Gatlinburg. They are feeding them and giving them basic immediate care, but need help finding and identifying more animals that may be stranded outside the immediate danger zones. They are asking people to contact them with locations and information about stranded animals at (888) 240-1358, or on their Facebook page.

*The UT College of Veterinary Medicine is asking for monetary donations to help care for animals injured in the fires. They have established separate funds for small animals and larger animals. For more information, contact them during their regular hours(Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.) at 865-974-4379.

* Wildwood Farm has pasture, water, and hay available for any large animals (cattle, horses, llamas, etc) displaced by the fires. Our farm is located in the Porter/Wildwood community. We can also help with a stock trailer and horse trailer. Contact Julie Maner at (865)256-9589.

*The Sevier County Animal Shelter is asking for donations, both physical and monetary, as well as volunteer help in taking care of animals displaced by the fires. If citizens have information about animals stranded in the disaster area, please email Sevieranimalshelter@gmail.com  or call (865) 453-7000.

*Meadowbrooke Kennel at 1811 Holston Road River Road in Knoxville is taking in dogs from the evacuation area.

* Fox Feed Supply in Jefferson City will serve as a drop-off location for Paws & Claws Animal Rescue TN. They are collecting bottled water and other drinks, as well as packaged snacks for firefighters. Items can be dropped off at their store, located at 250 W. Old AJ Hwy, Jefferson City, TN 37760. For more information call or text Wendy at 423-312-7400.

* Rocky Valley Kennels Puppy Boutique is raising money for the Sevier County Animal Shelter.

If your organization wants to help with relief, please coordinate with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency at (615)741-0001.

Free Legal Services 

* The Barnes Law firm is offering free legal advice and where necessary, pro bono representation. 

Some of the following issues may include: Landlord disputes, Home and property insurance claims, unemployment benefits, mortgage difficulties and foreclosures, food benefits and public assistance, family medical leave, and home repair and scams.  You can call John Barnes at (865) 805-5703. 

More stories:

Latest information about the fires and recovery

How to help fire victims

People searching for loved ones after fires

List: What's damaged, destroyed, or intact

 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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